COMMUNITY SPIRIT IN ACTION... NYPD AUXILIARY POLICE - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the June 2010 Juniper Berry Magazine

COMMUNITY SPIRIT IN ACTION... NYPD AUXILIARY POLICE

Brendan Ogle

The NYPD Auxiliary Police Program is the nation's largest and finest volunteer crime prevention program. Over 4,000 dedicated men and women contribute over 1 million hours of service each year to their community.

The Auxiliaries function as extra EYES AND EARS for the Police Department. Their primary function is described as PATROL, OBSERVE and REPORT. Auxiliaries also provide a powerful street presence at multiple public events to enhance public safety and deter street crime.

When you are an NYPD Auxiliary you are part of a select group.The NYPD Auxiliary Police has a zero tolerance drug policy. All applicants are carefully screened by an interview panel as well as undergoing background checks that also involve the services of the FBI. All auxiliaries receive approximately 54 hours of stringent basic training over a 16-week period in police science, self-defense and law and they must pass an exam.

But who are these volunteers? Why do they volunteer? First of all they overwhelmingly reside in the communities they serve and therefore epitomize the concerned and involved citizen.

I am one of those volunteers who at the ripe old age of 52 decided to join. Why? I wanted to be an even better role model to my 2 pre-teen sons as well as an involved citizen.

Some members were part of the Police Explorers Youth Program through grammar and high school.

Many aspire to law enforcement careers that are not just focused on the NYPD.

On March 14, 2007 two auxiliary officers gave the full measure of devotion when they were killed by a deranged gunman on a Greenwich Village street. APO Eugene Marshalik, 19, was a graduate of the prestigious Stuyvesant H.S. and dreamed of becoming a prosecutor and APO Nicholas Pekearo, 28, was an aspiring writer. They gave more than any one expected but both young men knew they were doing the best thing for themselves and their community.

The APO Eugene Marshalik Scholarship was established to honor his memory and APO Pekearo. Two Auxiliary officers will each be awarded a four-year scholarship at a CUNY School. This shows that our good works canhave a lasting and significant outcome.

I talked with seasoned NYPD personnel who manage and command the auxiliary units. One person is a 19-year veteran Police Officer Sean Garland who is the Auxiliary coordinator for the 104 Precinct Auxiliaries. I asked him what is the most common reason for a citizen to become an Auxiliary member and he said that many are motivated to give something back to their community by making it a safer place. He also said that there are retired police officers who pursue a second career as teachers in schools like John Jay College and recommend the Auxiliary Police as a solid introduction to a law enforcement career.

I spoke to Auxiliary Deputy Chief Bob Creane who is a 25-year veteran of the Auxiliaries and who says this is the most rewarding volunteer work he has ever done. Deputy Chief Creane, a Vietnam veteran, has been involved in many community activities and has coached local sports teams. Deputy Chief Creaneis directly involved with the interview panels that screen applicants and is a veteran classroom instructor. He says that 20% of applicant drop out of the 54-week class but of those who 'stay the course' 98% pass the final exam. The Queens north district has the highest passing rate in the City.

As a member I have learned that the Auxiliary Police, like the NYPD, is a highly accountable military organization with a chain of command and protocols that must be observed. I have also learned that out on the streets the citizens of this city love to see men and women wearing NYPD BLUE. People thank us for being there.

To be an Auxiliary you gotta love the job but above all you gotta love New York. If you or someone you know is interested in being part of the NYPD Auxiliary: call 212-AUX-1000 or 212-289-1000 or visit your local precinct or visit this website:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/html/careers/auxiliary_police.shtml